Wheeler sparks Jets

The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG–Blake Wheeler was more impressed with his team picking up a victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions than his individual performance.
Wheeler had a first-period hat trick, and added an assist in the third, as Winnipeg dumped the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1 yesterday.
“It’s all about getting two points,” Wheeler stressed. “I think we’ve got every guy pushing in that direction.
“We were fortunate to get the day off yesterday [Saturday],” he added. “It’s tough when you’re playing a back-to-back and the back end of a three and four.
“It takes a little bit of time to get going and luckily we had our legs early.”
Brendan Lemieux also scored his first career NHL goal for Winnipeg (5-3-2) on a slapshot from the point at 12:20 of the third.
The son of Claude Lemieux made his NHL debut with the Jets on Oct. 20 after being called up from the Manitoba Moose (AHL).
“It feels great,” said Lemieux.
“Obviously, really fortunate to have been able to get one and really excited,” he added.
“Every day I’m up here has been a blessing and I’m just trying to run with it.”
Andrew Copp, Joel Armia, and Mark Scheifele rounded out the scoring for Winnipeg.
“It’s disappointing,” said Penguins’ coach Mike Sullivan.
“We talk about doing the right things. We talk about managing the puck the right way,” he noted.
“We talk about staying on the right side of people, and then we go out and our actions are just the opposite.”
The Penguins (7-5-1), playing back-to-back road games after losing 2-1 in Minnesota on Saturday, were on their heels from the start and didn’t score until Evgeni Malkin’s fifth of the season late in the second.
The game doesn’t help Pittsburgh’s goal deficit in first periods this season.
The Penguins now have been outscored 21-10 in the opening 20 minutes.
“If I had an answer, we’d probably cure it,” said Sullivan.
Elsewhere, Calgary edged Washington 2-1 and Anaheim topped Carolina 4-3 (SO).